​The Ultimate Working From Home Productivity Playbook

31 March 2020

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Google currently offers over 1.6 million article search results for the term “working from home.” Incredibly, over 90%* of these articles were (probably) written just in the last week. You may have seen some of them?

So what else could you possibly need to know about achieving the holy grail of “productivity” from a home environment? Surely you’ll have read all you need to know in Forbes, The New York Times, BBC News, CNN and Wired to name but a few?

Or have you been too “productive” to read 1.6 million articles, perhaps? If so, you’re in luck! Because we’ve done the hard work for you, summarising everything you need to know into one, *ultimate* working from home productivity playbook.

Here it is, then, everything you need to know about working from home.

You’re welcome.

[Serious side-note: At Pentasia we’ve long believed in the benefits of flexible working setups. Clearly current conditions are far from ideal, but in addition to our covid-19 commitments as a business, we truly believe the gaming sector has the strength, creativity and resilience to get through these difficult times together. Who says we can’t run an entire industry (mostly) from home?!]

The Room

“Do not work from the bed. Do not work from the couch. Do not work from the futon. In fact, let’s just say don’t work anywhere that lets you recline if you can help it.” [Wired]

Whatever room you’re dedicating to work, it can be difficult adjusting from ‘home-mode’. Try rearranging the room, moving the furniture around a little, with working from home in mind.

Now that you’re going to be working in this room, ask how it can be arranged to best suit. Giving your WFH-room a fresh look can be helpful in the difficult change from
office to home working.

And hey – you’re going to have time on your hands to get this thing right… oh no, wait: productivity!

 

The Routine

“Get seated at your desk and ready to go at the start of your working day, with a clearly defined purpose!” [Forbes]

Routine! When you get to the office, many workers turn their PC on and make themselves a coffee to start the day. Create a ritual that signals the start of your working day; finish a cup of coffee, come back from a morning run, or put that bowl in the sink/dishwasher.

It’s time to smash it.

 

The Get-Up

“Some people find that dressing formally is helpful… But for many others, the point of getting dressed is being forced to shower and change out of clothes they associate with sleep and rest.” [BBC]

While the temptation to work from home in those comfy PJs is there, it’s important to get dressed into clothes you would normally wear for work. This can signal to the others in your living space to give you space to work and give you that wonderful feeling of changing out of work clothes at the end of your day. This can help dampen the blurred lines between work and home.

Some are in favour:

But not everyone’s convinced:​

The Connection

“Social interaction can still happen from home… Set up regular check-ins with your team or manager… [and] just to chat with coworkers to help avoid loneliness.” [CNN]

Companies are so much more than groups of individuals. What quickly becomes apparent when those individuals aren’t together is that ‘communication is critical’. It’s not just about formal interactions where tasks are distributed and acted on, but also about the myriad of informal chats and social interactions that bind us together.

When we’re forced apart physically, it’s important to take the extra time to create ‘social collisions’ that keep connections alive. Plus, it’s great for everyone’s wellbeing too.

 

The Rest Imperative

“Treat exercise, meals and stretch breaks as you would any other meeting: That means putting it on your calendar, at least to start.” [The New York Times]

Take breaks. Real breaks! Sitting back and checking your emails doesn’t count. Get up and say hi to those you live with, make a cup of tea or coffee, do some squats. Allow your hard-working brain a little respite before you get back to it. 

 

The Reality-Check Finally, we’ve got one of our own to add…

Reality-check: “productivity” really isn’t the only thing you should be focussing on right now. Times are tough right now, so it’s also perfectly reasonable to cut yourself a little slack.

It’s certainly incredibly important to keep businesses running – and we’re all doing what we can in that regard – but setting productivity expectations too high perhaps isn’t the best approach.

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There you have it – the ultimate working from home productivity playbook. Stay home and conquer!

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We’re aware that now is a difficult time for many. Pentasia has made clear commitments for candidates and employers and invite you to stay connected with this for updates and opportunities.